Ask Media Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Ask Media Group Reviews

Updated August 22, 2017
100 reviews

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3.3
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Katie Van Den Bos
1 Rating

100 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Unlimited PTO and great work/life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • The office environment looks good and very close to BART (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • They been offering Cognizant resources as full time employees, they are the main reason for (in 5 reviews)

  • Departure of CEO and people in upper management (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Complicated but solid business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ask Media Group full-time

    Pros

    A small team that has transformed for the better in the recent year or so. It's a complicated business that is somewhat subject to Google's influence, but it has proven to be a solid, profitable business over the course of the last year. Interesting tech, especially with some recent development efforts. Still operates at very high scale. The work environment is relaxed but not sophomorish.

    Cons

    It's not a sexy brand, and the complicated business model doesn't lend itself to strong branding or a focus on long term customer value. Planning tends to be more tactical than strategic, and external factors can bring volatility.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be transparent with the team, invest in their growth, and find ways to pursue interesting opportunities.


  2. "Miss the people and energy that made up Ask.com"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ask Media Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Occasional free food and pastries. Flexible work schedule. Unlimited PTO. Frozen yogurt machine and kitchen fully stocked with drinks and snacks.

    Cons

    Company mission was not always clear. Several waves of layoffs. Departure of CEO and people in upper management. Uncertainty of the new direction of the company after several changes throughout the organization.

  3. "Awesome!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ask Media Group full-time

    Pros

    Lunch, benefits, people, culture, benefits

    Cons

    Long hours, commissive, competitive, innovative


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Run don't walk...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ask Media Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice offices, good salary and benefits., ok work-life balance (if you wish to be bored to death as consequence)...

    Cons

    Where to even start. This company is dead in the water and everyone knows it. they continue to rearrange deck chairs on sinking ship. No vision, no innovation, no purpose and run by folks who are there for the paycheck and little else. Revolving door of upper management and anyone who has anything to say gets laid off or fired within a year.

    Advice to Management

    Close it down. The IAC hacks in NYC are not up to the task of reinvention so call it and shut it down...


  5. "Lots of clever people, no clear direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ask Media Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people and great work/life balance culture. Unlimited vacation and I've never had an issue taking advantage of it. People are smart and engaged.

    Cons

    There's no clear direction for the company. With a rotating cast of upper management and no clear product or service to market, management tends to go all over the place in terms of corporate vision. There's no roadmap beyond the next 6 months' report to parent company IAC. Ask was a decent search site that folded and then tried to do Q&A. That failed so now they're throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks. Not a reassuring business model.

    Advice to Management

    Find a niche and stick to it! Don't pull out of a market just because you're not number one! Also, have some corporate discipline.


  6. "Good people, problematic business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ask Media Group full-time

    Pros

    There are still remarkably smart (and nice!) people working at the company. Management largely treated people with respect and compassion. Pay, bonuses (in good years), perks, and benefits were generous. Location in Oakland very convenient for anyone in the East bay. Open to remote work. Good work/life balance - evening/weekend work very rare.

    Cons

    Since Google rose to dominate search, Ask has struggled to define itself with little success. Some efforts have done such damage to the brand that the resulting taint complicates many things (hiring especially). The IAC corporate parent has always been more interested in near-term profit than in creating long-term value for users. Motivation and sense of mission is a big challenge.

    Advice to Management

    If you want passionate employees, you need to find a way to create compelling offerings for users - not just the accountants at IAC.


  7. "Relaxed Workplace - Lack of Direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Great People
    -Good Benefits
    -Unlimited PTO and great work/life balance

    Cons

    -Extremely high turnover
    -Lack of any direction from management
    -Constant shift in goals/company direction
    -No communication between teams

  8. "Nice Leaning Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Open Source TEchnologies, lot of learning opportunities, nice co-workers

    Cons

    unpredictable revenues , revevue s, frequent lay-offs


  9. "Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ask Media Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Attractive office space, cool snacks and hot drinks. Many happy hours, outings

    Cons

    No products which generates money. No innovative ideas. Not hiring talented full time employees. Hiring inefficient contractors as engineering managers and directors

    Advice to Management

    Identify your home grown talented employees and motivate them instead of hiring contractors and employing them as managers and directors


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Nope."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Close to BART
    Unlimited vacation
    Decent medical benefits
    Video games

    Cons

    I'm surprised Ask.com or whatever it calls itself now still exists.

    The company lives on through a special relationship that is nothing short of arbitrage. The long time CEO just left, and with him it seems the wind behind the sails for anything positive vanished as well. The real people who make decisions have been at Ask forever. Like, 7, 8, 10+ years. These people think the gravy train will never end. Ask use to compete in search, but they decided to stop a couple years ago and with that laid off a lot of people. A lot of those people went to bigger more successful companies. The people who stayed remained for stability. Everyone here has a title. Directior, VP, GM, Sr. Manager etc. What does that mean? LOTS OF MEETINGS. Don't be surprised if your day is 70%+ meetings. If you're an engineer you're also pulled in to meetings for most of your waking hours.

    With so many people leaving, the company decided to hire a bunch of contractors. This company is effectively run by contractors. The contractors are good people, and they work hard, but they're under a lot of stress so they're not as able to be a part of the creative development process as regular full timers. This over reliance on contractors also squashes any new ideas. There is no incentive for new things to be created.

    I've talked to current and former devs and none of them said what they did at Ask is what they would want to put on their resume.

    Advice to Management

    The real managers are the IAC bankers in New York. To you, recognize the game is over. Take the steps you need to make to get as much money as you can before the whole thing falls down.


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